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  • the average allocation between cash, bonds and stocks
    Richard Shaw's research based on Federal Reserve data shows that average allocation between cash, bonds and stocks is:

    1945-Present:  10% cash, 40% bonds 50% stocks. (approximately)
    Past Decade:      9% cash, 28% bonds, 64% stocks.
    Present:            10% cash, 38% bonds, 52% stocks.
    Nov 18 3:51 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Buffett: Deal with deficit after U.S. economy recovers
    Buffett: Deal with deficit after U.S. economy recovers
    • By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter
    • On 9:10 pm EST, Friday November 13, 2009

    Billionaire Warren Buffett offered some advice to Uncle Sam on Friday: Time it right, but tackle the nation's enormous federal deficit.


    In an interview with Charlie Rose, Buffett said if the United States keeps flooding the world with its debt, countries will eventually notice that U.S. fiscal policies are "out of control" and become "less and less and less enthused" about lending to it.

    But the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway added that though the United States will want to act "fairly soon" to cut the deficit, it has to wait until the economy comes back.

    "We want to put out the fire," he said. "Then we want to quit squirting water on those buildings. We have to know when the fire's out."

    And how will we know?

    "Well, it will be retail sales. It'll be automobile sales. It'll be when home construction starts coming back," Buffett said, adding that the signs might not be recognized until three or four months after the fact. Still, it could happen in the next two years.


    Buffett said that while unemployment might stabilize later, it will also come down to a normal rate.

    "We'll create new jobs," has assured Rose, explaining that the United States has created millions of jobs since the unemployment rate was last above 10% in the 1980s and it will do the same this time around.

    "Who would have thought that when Paul Allen and Bill Gates were down there in Albuquerque eating pizza and drinking coke at two in the morning, that they were a big part of our future?" Buffett asked. "The American economy will come back. And it won't be tomorrow, and it won't be exactly the same, but in the end, we have not changed the American people and their capacity to innovate or their excitement about becoming more prosperous and coming up with new ideas."

    And as far as China beating and growing faster than the United States? Buffett said while China's population is four times larger and will thus grow faster, its economy is still much smaller overall.

    "I'll meet some guy on the street today whose net worth will be growing faster than mine on a percentage basis. But if I start with a big enough number, it'll be a while before he catches me," Buffett said, adding that it's a "long way off" for China's economy to be larger per capita than that of the U.S.

    'I want to make it painful for them'

    While Buffett said Washington came together to respond to the financial meltdown "like they should" have, the government should have been more aggressive in dealing with bank executives at too-big-to-fail institutions that needed government intervention.

    "If you run a financial institution that, in effect, can bring down the system unless the government steps in, I think something very bad should happen to you," Buffett said. "I want to make it painful for them."

    Buffett said while he's "not for shooting them," the executives should not be able to walk away with even 10% of their previous net worth and the directors who hired them should also be punished.

    Nov 16 4:33 PM | Link | 2 Comments
  • Fed's Massive Secret Wall Street Bailout Still Going Strong
    Fed's Massive Secret Wall Street Bailout Still Going Strong Posted Oct 30, 2009 08:53am EDT by Henry Blodget inInvesting, Banking
    Related: ^dji, ^gspc, dia, spy, qqqq, xlf

    Remember last fall, when our government explained that the reason we needed to give $800 billion to Wall Street was so the banks could lend it back to us and shock the economy back to life again?

    That was a happy story!

    And we fell for it.

    What happened, of course, was that the banks took the money, stopped lending, and used it to pay themselves and their shareholders through the nose.

    Twelve months later, the banks still aren't lending, and we're still bailing them out hand over fist.

    By lending the banks money at zero interest rates, the FT's Martin Wolf says, the Fed is helping the banks recapitalize themselves.  The banks aren't lending because they're still trying to recover from all the lousy loans they made three years ago (and because there aren't all that many folks to lend to).  So there's nothing else to do with the money other than hoard it, buy safe Treasuries, and pay huge bonuses.

    It's annoying to watch banks that would have collapsed a year ago now minting money at taxpayer expense.  But that's the way monetary stimulus always works.

    Wolf, however, believes the public's outrage over the bailout and bonuses will drive Congress to pass some kind of financial reform.  And, in an ideal world, he'd also like to see a windfall tax levied against bank bonus pools, which he says serves "no economic purpose."

    The important questions for the economy and market now, says Wolf,  are whether the Fed will remove the stimulus in time to stave off inflation, and it does, whether the removal will hobble the economy.

    Oct 30 10:50 AM | Link | Comment!
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